Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review: Halo, by Alexandra Adornetto

Halo (Halo, #1)
by Alexandra Adornetto
Hardcover, 496 pages
Feiwel & Friends
ISBN: 0312656262
ISBN13: 9780312656263

Published August 31, 2010

Nothing much happens in the sleepy town of Venus Cove. But everything changes when three angels are sent from heaven to protect the town against the gathering forces of darkness: Gabriel, the warrior; Ivy, the healer; and Bethany, a teenage girl who is the least experienced of the trio. They work hard to conceal their true identity and, most of all, their wings. But the mission is threatened when the youngest angel, Bethany, is sent to high school and falls in love with the handsome school captain, Xavier Woods. Will she defy the laws of Heaven by loving him? Things come to a head when the angels realize they are not the only supernatural power in Venus Cove. There′s a new kid in town and he′s charming, seductive and deadly. Worst of all, he′s after Beth.

Halo, Halo, Halo … what to say?

I’ll start with the positive. It was a refreshing read that had a lot of promise to it. We’ve had a deal of fallen angels to come into the YA world as of late, but nothing about actual angels sent down from Heaven that have not fallen. It was a fresh idea and I applaud Adornetto on her research and tenacity to write such a book. The cover is also positively stunning.

Having said that.. I read this entire book and felt a little cheated. Bethany, the main character, is an angel sent down from Heaven with two other angels (Ivy, a seraphim and Gabriel, the archangel) to Venus Cove to help bring prosperity back to the town and basically keep the evil out. I found it very disturbing that I read over 300+ pages of an angel in a human body knowing her mission, and all I read about was Xavier and how perfect he is and how complete he makes Bethany feel. Did I mention that Bethany is an angel? Yes, she’s immortal - yet somehow, through the entire book, she plays this damsel-in-distress that cannot be without her knight in shining armor … who is mortal and very breakable compared to those that are immortal. When Xavier is not in the picture, we get to hear Bethany go on and on and on about Xavier. So, really, you never miss Xavier because he is always mentioned.

Looking past that, I just found Bethany as an all-out weak character. She’s a young angel, seventeen mortal years old, yet compared to regular mortals, she is still far superior. She’s spent her seventeen mortal years in Heaven looking down upon the Earth, so she knows the dangers - but she continues to defy every law, rule, and experience that she’s ever known. I don’t care that she’s getting used to her human form - she still has the same brain and she still knows all the consequences of all the actions she makes, and she still makes them. Gabriel and Ivy I would have loved to see more of, yet we’re trapped in Bethany-World where the main attraction is Xavier-Land.

And on a small tidbit of religious research: Michael is God’s second-in-command (so to speak), and it is said that he leads God’s armies. Gabriel is the messenger for God. I know I’m getting specific, but it seems as though Adornetto was getting her archangels a little mixed up. I’m not saying that Gabriel can’t kick major butt, but his image of being a warrior in this book really made me go cross-eyed for a moment.

The other characters … they were tolerable. I liked Xavier, despite all the non-stop dribble that I had to read about him. Molly … well, her character is definitely believable. Gabriel and Ivy stay true to whom they really were (thank goodness!). Oh, and the villain … was pretty much as cliché as it comes. He’s one of Lucifer’s minions, so of course he’s going to dress all in black and be all dark and mysterious, yet completely hot. And of course he’s going to fall for Bethany, because that’s just how it works out.

I find the climax to this story a little disappointing as well, especially when it came to Gabriel fighting. I won’t say anything more for risk of spoiling, but he seemed weaker than what he truly should be.

Like I said, this story’s premise was very promising, but I found it lacking in too many areas. A lot of people like this book, so please don’t take my opinion as gold. Try it out and make your own deductions about it.

The Verdict?

The cover and idea gets more credit this round. The supporting characters also helped with the score I was giving.

On a side note: My husband was very disappointed to hear that I had a book called Halo, only to find out that it wasn't a new book based on the video game.


Savannah said...

LOL, my husband thought the same thing! I have this book as well. I plan on reading it soon. Nice review :)

Katie said...

Thanks for the honest review. :)

Unknown said...

Eek. I'm on an ARC tour for this one, and I still want to read it, but it's helpful to know that I have lots of damsel-in-distress-type stuff ahead of me. *sigh*

Jennifer said...

I've heard such mixed things about this book. So i guess i wasn't surprised to see your rating. I still want to read it. But I find it so interesting that so many people love it and so many people don't like it.

My library has it. So eventually i will get it there!

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